Is Nutrient Deficiency Really Diet Related?

by Nia

I have a concern over a much debated topic, that has been perpetually run through the mill and will probably never stop.

That's right, you guessed it: Vegetarianism/Veganism and Deficiency! I have some pretty strong and probably opinionated views on the subject myself. I have even written a piece on it in my personal blog.

I have pretty much concluded that all nutrients can be easily obtained through a balanced diet anywhere between omnivorous to vegan.

However, when vegans make up about 2% of the entire population, how is it possible for any deficiency amongst that percentage to be equated with deficiency amongst the general population and concluded to be diet related?

Especially when certain unrelated factors exist, like women in general who have iron deficiency regularly traced back to menstruation reasons. Or a new focus: B12, it's heavily focused on amongst vegans with a few isolated studies wich I feel were not all encompassing. B12 deficiency is said to be common amongst vegans, anemics, people with mental illness and/or depression. It needs to be present in the blood to transport oxygen, which I figure personally as a lifelong asthmatic may very well be a risk for me; though, doctors have not found B12 deficiency in my blood and I have been a lifelong asthmatic and a vegan for 17 years.

I am also one who is against what I call "secondhand nutrition" ie. supplements. I feel that there is no better way to get nutrients than actual food and one would spend the same amount of time and less money (with less stress on the body as a whole) eating the actual source of the nutrient.

Furthermore, I think the deficiency scare is harmful in many ways. For one, it drives would-be lifelong vegetarians/vegans from their diet for fear some symptoms be it physical changes like weight, fatigue or a warning from a doctor (who are typically inadequately educated in nutrition) that whatever they are suffering from is via their veg diet and not typical poor habits such as smoking, drinking or high stress lifestyles, simply because the veg diet is more "alarming" than the aforementioned.

But, do you personally as a nutritionist, vegan and someone who is very informed on current vegan issues think that my thoughts are rational or maybe I'm missing something? I'd love to know. Thanks:)

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So impressive
by: Cathleen

I am constantly impressed by you. I just wanted to say that we greatly appreciate your contributions on the site, and I think you have really helped people. It's so important to share the positive about what you've experienced because it enables others to see what they could do as well.


Veg diet, deficiency
by: Nia

I see what you mean. It is a good idea to take as much control over your own food as much as you can. There are so many obstacles to buying nutritious food these days that were not there many years ago: pollution, chemicals, GMOs, other manufacturing practices, etc. Yet, I think that this equally (and then some) effects those who eat meat. There really is little escape other than keeping up with what the industries are doing and taking matters into our own hands - for everyone, including meat eaters.

I'm almost with you
by: Anonymous

I've only been vegan about a year. I have to have two blood tests a year because I'm a 17 year breast cancer survivor. My Doctor just shakes her head & says, "I wish my blood stats were as good as yours." I go a step further. We moved from the "city life" to the mountains. 10,000 feet. We are attempting to grow our own food. Think of the latest cantalope scares. Then there is the comment from many nutritionists/diatitionists, "you now have to eat 3 apples to get the nutrition that grandmother got out of her apples. Then there are all the nasty medications in city water. Then there is all the nasty chemicals in city air & work buildings. Then there is all the stress in the city. Then there is the temptation to grab any ole food & go.

Now I cook from scratch. Grind my own flour, make my own bread. Grandma did this & raised 5 kids & worked.

I do take supplements because I can't raise all my food "YET".

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by Cathleen Woods   |   © Copyright 2008-2016   |

Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified health care professional before making a diet change.